As each year passes Christmas sneaks up on us and this year brought a new forever family member, a diagnosis that changed the game but not the God who loves us, a new home, & countless small trials & blessings.   I know less but trust more in the unfolding of whatever life holds. What I do know is I love my family- for all our chaos, imperfection, and mess. All of it- I adore time to just be together to adventure. Another Advent season ends and another year spent in our favorite city enjoying some traditions with just our family. I am grateful for these images that remind me that although time flies it also can stand still in the moments we celebrate traditions together and just enjoy each other & Chicago.

Abishai’s face 50% of the time. on the real. 

 Everyone was successful this year on the rink!1 Even Abishai went around the ribbon twice!!

 Rayne was amazing at skating!

 And Annikah tried some spins this year.

 We stayed at Embassy Suites because the reception & pool& location are just the best!

 On Christmas Eve morning after a walk to the Lego store with J Evy told us God spoke to her when she saw a man asking for change. She said he was shivering because he only had short sleeve T-shirt on and he saw a woman buy him a warm coffee.  She told us all about this encounter and how it changed her and we were witness to God speaking to and through a child. We should never be shocked by this because Jesus said we must become like little children to enter His kingdom- this day Evy invited us there  Her heart was broken for the hard parts of this world and she decided he did not want a big gift this year and instead asked us to donate her present money to an organization that supports impoverished areas of Chicago and builds on the community assets of a neighborhood. (this year Evy will also ask friends to celebrate her birthday with donations to Breakthrough Urban Ministries in East Garfield Park, Chicago).  She also went back to try to find the man and others who might need the bags we prepared for Advent. 
Although our little adventure in Chicago is mostly about the fun, shiny parts of life Evy also asked us to remember life is hard and we should enter into those parts too. It was a good time with family in the city and we are grateful. I hope you all had a blast celebrating your traditions with your people.


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